13 ways to improve your blog

Improve your blog - www.justemmi.comIt can be easy to get so caught up in writing new blog posts, scheduling tweets and trying to beat the Instagram algorithm that you forget the little things that can really improve your whole blog.

Hopefully this post will give you all a helping hand and some ideas on how you can make your blog better for both you and your readers. – I am in no way a blog expert but these are the things that I notice the most on blogs and a few things that I have done myself.

USER FRIENDLY THEME

I know that not everybody can afford to buy a swanky blog theme but if you are going to go with the free ones blog hosting platforms provide you with then make sure it’s user friendly. What do I mean by user friendly? Well first of make sure it’s easy to navigate and read on all devices, laptops, phones, tablets etc. Make sure that you keep it clear of clutter so that your readers know where to look for things.

BETTER SIZED IMAGES

This is a big pet peeve of mine. I know that everybody wants to up their image game but if I’m being honest, if the images are all weird sizes and don’t if the page properly then I’m not going to really care how good the quality of it is.

Most these will tell you the dimension of the page so try to fit your images around that. I use 750×500 for all of mine. If you want to make your images portrait and not landscapes or mix and match then this can work as long as you keep the dimensions consistent.

TEXT FORMATTING

This is just as important as resizing your images. These arty and cursive fonts are lovely but in reality they aren’t that easy to read. There are loads of classic, readable fonts that will still suit your blog.

Also when it comes to headers or emphasising things, find a style and stick with it. Keeping the same header style in all your blog posts or only using italics to emphasise things will make your readers get to know your blog and what you are trying to say more. This also keeps things consistent so your readers know what they are going to get when reading your post.

MAKE SIGN OFFS CONSISTENT

As you can probably tell the main thing you can do to improve your blog is to be consistent and this includes sign offs. I’ve seen blogs where they might post a sign off one day, but then not the next. If you have a set sign off whether it be your name, your social media or even a note asking for people’s opinions then this will help your readers to interact more. It also personalises your posts a bit more so it feels like there is actually a person behind the blog.

UPDATE YOUR ABOUT PAGE

It may not seem all that important but trust me it is. Your about page is the go to point for your new readers and brands who want to get to know you a bit more. If it still says you’re 17 and in college when you’re now 22 it can be hard for people to take you seriously. Keeping your about page updated will show that you care about your blog and put effort into all of it, not just the pictures and words.

ADD RELEVANT CONTACT INFO

When I say relevant contact information I’m referring to the stuff you want brands to see. Don’t add your personal Facebook profile with photos of you passed out on the floor after a night out. Also don’t add a social media account for the sake of it. If you never use it and rarely post then don’t direct your followers to there as they won’t see anything from you and will just end up unfollowing.

CREATE A MEDIA PACK

Now a media pack isn’t essential and I currently don’t have on (working on it) but if you are starting to get serious about your blog then get one made and either have a link to it on your blog, or an email they can contact you with to see it. Having a media pack will make you look a lot more professional but will also help you when trying to get more brand collaborations and advertising.

It puts all of your blog information in one place and can also be a good go to point when you are trying to remember specific details about your demographic and reach.

UPDATE OLD POSTS

This isn’t necessarily that important unless you are sharing older posts. There are many old posts which I have written and have had to go back and redo because either they weren’t very good, the images were bad quality or it just didn’t fit the new tone of my blog.

SPELLING AND GRAMMAR

I’m not going to point any bloggers out but there are a few bloggers I follow whose content I love but they never seem to capitalise their letters or check their spelling and grammar. The capital letters may be a design thing that they are going for but I can’t emphasise enough how important spelling and grammar is. It is so important in blogging and in life. A bit of slang here and there doesn’t matter but paragraphs of spelling mistakes will put people right off.

Most blogging platforms have in-built spelling and grammar checkers so please do use them. – Remember though that they may be set to the American English version so know when to but a z or an s.

DE-CLUTTER YOUR SIDEBAR

Not all blogs have sidebars but they can be quite useful. They tend to include links to social media, a list of your popular posts etc. It is really important to keep this clutter free  so it is easy to navigate.

Nobody needs to see a calendar on your side bar or an abundance of archives. If you still want to include these then think about moving them down to your footer. That way they aren’t in the way when people are reading but they can still find them if they want to.

REDUCE YOUR CATEGORIES

I have changed, rearranged and renamed my categories hundreds of times and to be honest I’m still not 100% happy with them. The goal is to get them down to few categories so that it is easier to click-through my blog with all these drop downs.

Now you don’t have to be vague but you don’t need a category for every activity. For example if you have posts about books, movies, Tv shows and the theatre and you’re not an entertainment blogger (as in this isn’t the only stuff you blog about) then why not jut put it under one category called Entertainment?

Obviously if you have a very set niche such as make-up then it makes sense to have Lips, Face, Eyes and Nails as separate categories. But you don’t need categories for lip gloss, lip stick, lip stain etc. You get the picture.

NAME YOUR PICTURES

This is more of a SEO hack. I’ve gotten into the habit of naming my pictures with relevant names and then adding my url. This way if somebody sees your picture on Google images it will come up with a proper name for it and your website rather than IMG286593L. This should also help with your DA, PA and just generally bring more traffic to your blog. – Not guaranteed though.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO DELETE

Deleting blog posts seems to be like a taboo in the community but to be honest, if you’re not happy with a post you wrote last year, last month or even just yesterday then feel free to delete it. At the end of the day it is your blog and you should only post things that you are happy with.

I’ve deleted old blog posts, new blog posts and even just drafts because I wasn’t loving the topic or idea I was writing about. It helps you to get back on track to write about what you wanted to blog about in the first place.

I hope these little tips and tricks help some of you out. I’d love to know what advice you have for anyone wanting ton improve their blog.

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© Emmi Bowles

 

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